Yangwenshan Ou
By: Yangwenshan Ou
On: 2 November 2021

Can the gut microbiota predict behavior in mentally healthy individuals?

Maintaining mental health is important. The gut microbiota, mainly composed of bacteria, is considered to play a pivotal role in retaining mental health. It is not surprising that most gut microbiota-brain related studies are focused on diagnosed mental disorders,[2] due to their severity and urgency. With a better understanding of the role the gut microbiota plays in mental disorders, researchers start their explorations in a wider group, that does not have a disorder. This group is often called the “neurotypical population”. The neurotypical population is defined as medically and psychologically healthy individuals who have a normal pattern of neurodevelopment.[1] Though...

Colberg Baking By: Paula Colberg
On: 27 September 2021

Getting ready for the next lockdown- is coping with a piece of cake a good idea?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people’s personal as well as work situation changed. People who previously worked in an office now work from home. Other people were put on short-time work or even lost their jobs. This new time – with all its restrictions and recommendations to stay at home and to not socialize – drove people to start something unexpected: they started baking! In this blog, we will look at what baking does to people as a coping mechanism, based on a survey by a Canadian research group.  Neuroscientist Melissa Chee  and her colleagues from the Carlton university in...

By: Dr. Alessandro Atzeni
On: 21 September 2021

Fecal microbiota transplantation and Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes dementia (e.g. memory loss). As its prevalence among elderly individuals is expected to increase during the next decades, Alzheimer’s disease has become one of the major public health problems worldwide.  Many researchers are therefore looking for new ways to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease. One promising new technique is poop transplants, officially called “fecal microbiota transplantations”. This method could be a promising new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, although at this moment much more research is needed before it can really be applied to patients on a large scale. How a disturbed gut...

Maryam Golzarnia
By: Maryam Golzarnia
On: 13 September 2021

Does impulsivity increase unhealthy eating behaviors and are there any differences between men and women?

It is often thought that impulsivity results in unhealthy eating. For instance, overeating due to stress, or making unhealthy food choices in response to advertisements. Up until now, most research has focused on only the dysfunctional aspects of impulsivity, while I wanted to know if functional impulsivity is also linked to unhealthy eating. I was also interested in differences between men and women. From my study, I concluded that there was no link between either form of impulsivity and unhealthy eating, nor was there a difference between men and women. However, this could be due to the homogeneity of our...

By: Dr. Larissa Niemeyer
On: 7 September 2021

How your morning coffee might save you from skin cancer

Every few years a new group of scientists publishes their recent study results on “bad” and “healthy” food and gives new dietary advice. As “superfoods” like avocado, chia seeds and goji berries come and go and fill the pockets of marketing experts, the question remains which nutrients and aliments are really helping to live a longer, healthier life. Especially interesting for many people is the question of food-related risk factors for cancer. There are aliments that have been connected to a higher risk of developing cancer types like lung, skin or liver cancer. However, these results aren’t always consistent and...

By: Johanne Telnes Instanes
On: 7 September 2021

Why you should limit added sugar in your diet

There are many sources of sugar in our diet.  So-called natural present sugar naturally occurs in food. One example is milk sugar (lactose) found in milk and yoghurt. Sugars in fruits are another example of natural sugar. In addition to sugar, these foods also contain important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. There are also a lot of foods that contain additional, added sugar. Added sugar is usually understood as sugar added to food during food preparation or processing [1]. There are several reasons for adding sugars to food. Commonly they are used as sweeteners and to preserve food. They are...

zinc By: Dr. Manuel Schlipf
On: 3 September 2021

The importance of traces

You might know zinc as part of metal objects, batteries or as anti-corrosion agent. But did you know that very small amounts of zinc are essential for our bodies (and mind) to function well? Zinc is an essential trace element for humans (as well as animals, plants and microorganisms). Second only to iron, zinc is one of the most abundant trace elements in our body, which typically contains about 2-4 mg of zinc. There is a great number of zinc-dependent biological processes as hundreds of enzymes and thousands of protein domains require zinc. Zinc is essential for growth and development...

children learning By: Lisa Reijmers
On: 15 August 2021

Differences in lifestyle habits between children with and without ADHD

There is an increasing interest in lifestyle factors and their impact on mental health. Lifestyle factors refer to behaviors that have an impact on your health and quality of life [1]. Examples of lifestyle factors are physical activity, diet, sleep behavior and use of tobacco and alcohol. Different lifestyle factors have been proposed as precursors or consequences of ADHD [2]. Therefore one might wonder: how do children and adolescents with ADHD differ from children and adolescents without ADHD on several lifestyle factors? In one study [3] parents were asked to fill out a lifestyle questionnaire about, among other things, the...

On: 9 August 2021

Importance of Infant Nutrition and Childhood Diet in the Development of Neurodevelopmental Disorders such as ADHD

Neurodevelopmental disorders are a heterogeneous group of conditions characterized by developmental deficits of the central nervous system that usually start early in life (1). These disorders, which can manifest themselves from mild to severe forms, lead to impairments in personal, social, academic and/or occupational functioning (1). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of those neurodevelopmental disorders listed in the diagnostic guidelines, and is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or attention problems (1). Its prevalence is not negligible, in fact ADHD is currently the most common neurodevelopmental and neurodevelopmental disorder in childhood, affecting approximately 5% of children...

Environment, gut, immune system and brain – a finely tuned gear system By: Leona Jacobsen
On: 8 August 2021

Environment, gut, immune system and brain – a finely tuned gear system

Gut feeling – just a feeling or an important voice?  We all know the feeling of having “butterflies in our stomach”, “making decisions based on our gut”, or negative emotions that “turn our stomach”. For a long time, however, these feelings were not taken as a serious basis for decisions and people preferred to rely on their intellect instead. Because our intestines can’t know more than our brain, right? But wouldn´t it be surprising if our largest inner organ had no function other than the digestion of food? It is now known that the gut is an important gateway between...